The Mequon-Thiensville School District will add 29 seats for out-of-district students to attend through open enrollment, starting in the 2015-16 school year.
As part of the same action, school board members Monday unanimously approved adding 23 new seats through Chapter 220, a desegregation program that involves the Milwaukee Public Schools.
The school district currently has 53 open enrollment students and 100 Chapter 220 students across all grade levels. It expects that six Chapter 220 students and 15 open enrollment students will graduate in June.
The M-T schools have participated in open enrollment, which is mandated by the state, since 2001. And, while it not legally required to do so, the school district has participated in Chapter 220 since 1986.
The district has been “a staunch supporter of (Chapter 220) and has made seats available every year,” said Matt Joynt, assistant superintendent of educational services.
A year ago, the school district added 14 seats in each of the programs. The number of new seats do not directly correspond with the changes in total enrollment through the two programs because the number of students who are seniors and graduate in any given year varies.
Students who attend M-T schools through open enrollment must provide their own transportation. Chapter 220 students are provided bus transportation to their respective M-T schools. Once a student is part of either program, they are considered M-T students and do not have to re-apply every year.
Given the approved numbers for 2015-16, open enrollment will increase the school district’s income by $68,000. The Chapter 220 students will decrease the school district’s tax levy by $850,000; that means property owners in the district will benefit, but the school district will not directly realize income.
Information from News Graphic